The Paris Whirlwind: photography, food and fabulous people
I had just got all the clothes sent back to their various destinations after the HELLO! photo shoot when I hit trouble, making the mistake of personally dropping off 202’s on Westbourne Grove. I arrived with 2 bags of returns and somehow left with 3 bags of amazing new pieces! Violet had been allowed a carte blanche to play with whatever she liked and had found pink suede sunglasses – I never fail to find something fabulous in there! Packed and ready to board my Eurostar to Paris, I managed to catch up on tons of emails and even wrote the foreword for a new coffee table book that I have been taken on to write. Mentally I tried to dress a bit more chic-ly for my trip, as my daughter Anouska had primed me that all Parisienne women are never without their glasses and lipstick. However, I refuse point blank to travel in heels.
After pulling into the Gare du Nord, I headed straight to the San Regis Hotel off Ave Montaigne and then tea with all Anouska’s new friends who form World Wide Women. Heading to the 5th district I was excited to see her company’s first photography show. The space was amazing and each of the 8 girls were all as beautiful as the next. You could feel the stress in the air as the picture hanging hadn’t even started yet. Before the show began I enjoyed dinner with my husband, my daughter Noushy and friend Lulu at Société. It was a delicious meal, though we were all a tad preoccupied by a long-bodied Swedish model sitting next to us whose legs didn’t even fit under the table.
Next morning I was up and again, dressed in my new semi-couture skirt and heels, it was taking me a lot of planning to dress like that 24/7! Off I went in a taxi to see my great friend Goga Ashkenazi’s first collection as owner of VIONNET and the poor girl was absolutely terrified. I liked a few pieces, loved a couple and was blah blah by a few. Then my next stop was dropping by to see my lovely pal Snowden who was squeezing us in after he had done the DIOR show. I was texting my friend Eva Herzigova and trying to get her to stay for a couple of extra hours in order to make Anouska’s show. Then before we knew it, showtime had arrived. My father (who had arrived from London to show his support) and I managed to get there in 20 mins. The traffic in Paris over Fashion week is beyond hideous – the night before I had been trying to get to Sonia Sieff’s photography show but had to abort the plan after being stuck in a tunnel of traffic for 30 mins without moving!
Pulling up outside Anouska’s gallery there were already swarms of pretty young French things, all smoking, all thin and super glamorous. The place filled up so fast I couldn’t manage the leisurely browse I’d hoped for. Waris Dirie (who was their guest of honour that night as a supermodel and UN spokesperson) was just charming as she gave a short speech about her own harrowing story. Now a happy mother to 3 boys and living in Poland, Waris was refreshingly down-to-earth and so warm. Natalia Vodianova, another fabulous superwoman and multi-tasker extraordinaire, had promised to swing by and did – love her! The pictures were selling and I must admit to having been totally overwhelmed as many of my friends had come along to show their support. Anouska and her business partner, Alessandra Castrucci, looked gorgeous in their Valentino outfits. Jamie Burke, Calvin Klein model and singer, had flown in from NY especially to play at the show and Deborah Anderson, famous photographer, had just shot Pink for her new album and then jetted in for Noushy’ event. Luciana Gimenez came by with club impresario Jeffrey Jah and we found them later on at the chic Paris hotspot Raspoutine.
I was so proud of Anouska’s night, the show and their tremendous hard work. Naturally I was even happier for her knowing that she had sold all her pieces that night. I decided to make Voltaire our ‘last lunch’ destination for fabulous French cuisine in an old school, charming bistro on the bank of Seine. It was the cherry on the cake when we noticed US Vogue’s Grace Coddington was seated at a table right next to us – you can’t get more fashion than her!
A quick dash back to London before re-packing and flying to Milan for a beautiful Milanese Society Wedding. So many old friends are flying in so it will be another fun one for sure!!!